Sydney Swans player Lance Franklin takes part in a open training session and fan day, at the Sydney Cricket Ground, in Sydney, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. The Sydney Swans will play the Western Bulldogs in the AFL Grand Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING
Sydney Swans player Lance Franklin takes part in a open training session and fan day, at the Sydney Cricket Ground, in Sydney, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. The Sydney Swans will play the Western Bulldogs in the AFL Grand Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING DAN HIMBRECHTS

Your complete guide to today's AFL grand final

AUSSIE RULES: This afternoon's AFL grand final has the makings of a classic, with the Western Bulldogs set to take on the Sydney Swans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

It can often be hard to keep up with everything you need to know about the big game.

WHO'S PLAYING?

HOW DID THEY GET THERE?

RECENT HISTORY

KEY STATISTICS

WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

THE TEAMS

WHO'LL WIN?

Rugby league finals, the start of the cricket season, spring racing and the Ryder Cup have all fought for their share of screen time this weekend.

So if you need to catch up before this afternoon's big game, here's some key things to consider about the 2016 AFL grand final.

WHO'S PLAYING?

The Sydney Swans - once the South Melbourne Football Club - will take on the Western Bulldogs - formerly Footscray - in the game which will decide the 2016 AFL Premiership.

The game starts at 2.30pm at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and will be broadcast live on Channel 7.

The Swans finished first on the premiership ladder this season and will be led by Kieren Jack, the son of former Australian rugby league great, Gary Jack.

 

Sydney Swans player Kieren Jack takes part in a training session at the Sydney Cricket Ground, in Sydney, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. The Swans play North Melbourne in a sudden death semi-final clash at ANZ Stadium on Saturday. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING
Sydney Swans player Kieren Jack takes part in a training session at the Sydney Cricket Ground, in Sydney, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. The Swans play North Melbourne in a sudden death semi-final clash at ANZ Stadium on Saturday. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING DAN HIMBRECHTS

Western Bulldogs finished 7th in the regular season and will be led by stand-in skipper Easton Wood. The club's regular skipper Bob Murphy is sidelined with a knee injury.

HOW DID THEY GET HERE?

The Bulldogs played an elimination final against the West Coast Eagles in finals week one, winning comfortably (99-52).

The following week they caused the upset of the season when downing triple defending premiers Hawthorn at the MCG (107-84).

Last weekend they were locked in a thriller with Greater Western Sydney, but prevailed (89-83) to book their spot today.

Sydney also played three matches en-route to the finals, going down to GWS (91-55) in week one of the finals, before bouncing back against Adelaide (118-82) the following week.

Last weekend they beat Geelong 97-60 and booked their second grand final ticket in three years.

RECENT HISTORY

This will be just the sixth time the sides have met since 2012 and the Bulldogs hold the upper-hand in recent matches.

The last two encounters between the sides were decided by only four points. The most recent encounter was in Round 15 this year, with the Bulldogs coming away 83-79 victors at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

That time, Dogs defender Jason Johannisen kicked the winning goal in the final moments of the game, with Matthew Boyd, Lachie Hunter and Marcus Bontempelli also starring.

The Swans' forward line was also outstanding, with former Hawks premiership winner Lance 'Buddy' Frankling kicking five goals.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 16:  Jake Stringer consoles Jason Johannisen comes off after he injures his hamstring when kicking the ball for a goal during AFL Round 4 match between the Carlton Blues and the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on April 16, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 16: Jake Stringer consoles Jason Johannisen comes off after he injures his hamstring when kicking the ball for a goal during AFL Round 4 match between the Carlton Blues and the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on April 16, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images) Michael Dodge

KEY STATISTICS

If the grand final was purely a numbers game, Sydney would have the Western Bulldogs' measure.

The Swans lead this year's competition not only on the ladder but also with inside 50s.

They also finished second in clearances and disposals.

The Bulldogs were the fifth-ranked side for inside 50s, third for clearances but first for disposals.

Lance Franklin has kicked 80 goals this season at 60.2% and finished second for most goals kicked in 2016 behind West Coast's Joshua Kennedy (82 goals).

You have to go all the way to number 22 on the goal kickers list to find the Western Bulldogs' leading goal kicker, with Jake Stringer booting 41 goals at 65.1%.

 

Jake Stringer of the Bulldogs reacts after kicking his third final quarter goal during the Round 16 AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Richmond Tigers at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Saturday, July 9, 2016. (AAP Image/Julian Smith) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Jake Stringer of the Bulldogs reacts after kicking his third final quarter goal during the Round 16 AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Richmond Tigers at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Saturday, July 9, 2016. (AAP Image/Julian Smith) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY JULIAN SMITH

Although Western Bulldogs led the competition for disposals, it was Sydney's Josh Kennedy and Daniel Hannenbery who take the best average into today's big game.

Western Bulldogs' Lachlan Hunter averages 28 for the season.

WHO ARE THEY BACKING?

Sydney are the warm favourites to take out today's big game, with online bookmaker Ladbrokes keeping them safe at $1.60. The Western Bulldogs are $2.65 to win.

Hannenbery (Sydney) is the joint-favourite with Kennedy (Sydney) to take out the Norm Smith Medal for man-of-the-match. Goal-kicker Lance 'Buddy' Franklin is on the second line of betting at $9 with Luke Parker (Sydney).

The most favoured Bulldogs player to claim the prize is Marcus Bontempelli, who is also at $9.

 

Marcus Bontempelli  of the Bulldogs react during the Round 21 AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Collingwood Magpies at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. (AAP Image/Julian Smith) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Marcus Bontempelli of the Bulldogs react during the Round 21 AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Collingwood Magpies at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. (AAP Image/Julian Smith) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY JULIAN SMITH

THE TEAMS

SYDNEY SWANS

B: Jake Lloyd, Heath Grundy, Nick Smith

HB: Callum Mills, Jeremy Laidler, Dane Rampe

C: Kieren Jack, Josh P. Kennedy, Jarrad McVeigh

HF: Tom Mitchell, Lance Franklin, Luke Parker

F: Tom Papley, Kurt Tippett, Ben McGlynn

Fol: Sam Naismith, Dan Hannebery, Isaac Heeney

I/C: Gary Rohan, Zak Jones, George Hewett, Xavier Richards

WESTERN BULLDOGS

B: Jason Johannisen, Joel Hamling, Matthew Boyd

HB: Shane Biggs, Dale Morris, Easton Wood

C: Lachie Hunter, Marcus Bontempelli, Liam Picken

HF: Jack Macrae, Zaine Cordy, Jake Stringer

F: Tory Dickson, Tom Boyd, Clay Smith

FOL: Jordan Roughead, Luke Dahlhaus, Tom Liberatore

I/C: Toby McLean, Fletcher Roberts, Josh Dunkley, Caleb Daniel

WHO'LL WIN?

As the old saying goes: anything can happen on the last Saturday in September (or the first Saturday in October).

But all roads lead to Sydney marching onwards to victory in the big clash.

Swans by four goals.



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